Saturday 19 July 2014

Big Trip Home Day 8 - Raining hard but then it only water he says

I never got to take the promised photo of AmyJo once polished this morning as we woke to a down pour.  We must have been luckier than some as the thunder and lightning last night stayed in the distance so although the lightning looked good the thunder was faint enough not to disturb sleep.

It was going to be a late start today due to the rain so we did not surface until 9am.  We um'd and Ar'd whether it was worth going but as the schedule was back on track we (that's the royal we) decided to push on, after all its only water.

We said our thanks and goodbyes at the marina office and pulled out of the berth.  I worked out I could close the back doors and slide the hatch open and shut to access the throttle so we slowly edged out of the tight entrance and turned back towards the junction.

And we thought Crick Marina was tight
  Apologies for the poor quality of the photos today as it was chucking it down.  Some are from our GoPro time lapse camera and rain was blurring the images.

Even Chris stayed inside bless her, on call if needed.
We made our decision to stick with the original plan and go on to the Shroppie after discussing with Steve the marina Manager.  The decider was he mentioned the pubs are better on the Shroppie so who am I to argue?

We made the turn to the right at Great Haywood junction and continued on in the rain.  A mile or so on the canal opens up into what is known as the Tixal wide.  It looks as though you can turn the boat in one go but the waters here are deceiving and very shallow on the opposite side to the tow path.  

If you have ever looked in the "recent builds" album of Fernwood boats photo album on their website, one boat featured is NB Riverside Escape owned by Denise and Steve.  As we entered the wide there she was moored up.

Rverside Escape captured by the time lapse camera
Denise popped her head out from the side door and asked how Chris was and informed us that she reads our blog (thats 3 readers now Chris).  We just had time to inform her all was well.  Thank you Denise for your concern for Chris, and everyone else who commented for that matter.  Chris is now fine but still a little sore in one front tooth that is getting less painful each day. 

From here on the Staff and Worcester canal we're now on varies greatly in width through the countryside towards Penkridge, one minute wide, the next reeds make the canal wide enough for only one boat to get through.  We came across a couple of sunken boats.  This one looks like several boats had hit it and the other only the stern quarter was visible.  I just managed to avoid that one at the last minute there was so little to see.

Sorry sight and also how much is submerged in ones path.
We gave this one as wide a berth as we could

One of the many narrow sections
By now the rain was slowly easing and by the time we passed Baswich and got to the Stafford boat club the sun was shining and things were warming up a little.  Most hate the rain but today we welcomed it as we found the coolness of it today sweet relief from yesterday and last nights heat.  It has certainly cleared the air at least and the temperature back to bearable levels.

A carved Owl stands century as we approach Stafford Boat Club

Beautifully manicured and maintained Staffs Boat club.
So neat, white trousers and blue jacket could well be the dress code.
Ominous dark clouds were ahead of us so after Detmore lock we found a lovely peaceful spot out in the boondocks and moored up.  Sure enough, just after tying up, the heavens opened for and hour  or so but, now as I type the sun is once more shining, the sky is clear for now, and a gentle breeze is keeping the temperature just right.

Our mooring for tonight, out in the countryside

View behind us and the rain we just had.

The view out of the day room side door this evening.

Our route today
Total distance:6.53 miles Elapsed time:3h13m43s Locks:2Bridges:17 
Average speed:2.02 mph (2.64 lock/mph) 


Adam said...

Tixall Wide is actually pretty deep all the way across. You can do doughnuts there, if you want, or a figure of eight!

nb AmyJo said...

Oh looked like it was shallow. Which I'd known, I'd love to have tried doing a doughnut in AmyJo that would be something :-)